Windsor businesses hope this is the last of COVID-19 restrictions
Capacity for restaurants, bars increasing to 50 per cent Jan.31
In the seven months that restaurant owner Budi Wibowo has been open, he says he's been through two periods of tightened COVID-19 measures — and hopes this is the last one.
On Thursday, Doug Ford announced that some restrictions will ease on Jan. 31, including the pause on indoor dining. Restaurants, movie theatres, shops, event spaces and other locations will be able to reopen at 50 per cent capacity on that date. A few weeks later, on Feb. 21, more restrictions will loosen, including an increase in gathering size limits.
This glimmer of hope is what local business owners are hanging on to, as many say the closures continue to impact their finances.
"Hopefully this is the end of it because I don't want to keep [going] on and off, on and off again, because we lost a lot of business right now," said Wibowo, who is the chef and owner of Bally's Kitchen.
He estimated that he's lost about 60 per cent of his customers this time around.
"It's pretty hard, pretty tough," he said. "[50 per cent capacity] I think it's better than nothing at all basically."
WATCH: Owners hopeful with scheduled return of indoor dining
Wibowo said he has friends in Toronto and Windsor's restaurant industry who are also feeling the pinch and are hoping this is the end of all restrictions.
Mahr Mahr, the manager of Mandy Plus in Windsor, also said he wants to see places fully reopen.
He said that while his shop is a fast food place, it always helps to have indoor diners and he likes to have customers eat the food while it's hot.
"When you sit down here and eat it's going to taste different than when you bring it home to eat," he said.
Mahr added that he knows of businesses that were forced to close during these most recent restrictions, because they "lost a lot of business."